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Vice President Biden on 9/11
September 11, 2012 12:39 PM   Subscribe

Joe Biden commemorates 9/11 - tear-inducing
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 (55 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite

 
I didn't know.
posted by bq at 12:44 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah his personal loss at a young age has always garnered a lot of respect from me on a personal level.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 12:50 PM on September 11, 2012


Joe referenced this when he spoke to military families that have lost a family member during the war and it was one of the most touching things ever.

People laugh at Joe Biden and think he's a joke, but I think he's a fantastic human being and one of the best vice presidents I can recall.
posted by inturnaround at 12:52 PM on September 11, 2012 [51 favorites]


Thanks for the post. Beautiful and heartfelt.
posted by Isadorady at 12:52 PM on September 11, 2012


This speech Biden did back in March completely changed my perspective of the man. It's one of the most genuine, heartfelt speeches I've ever come across.
posted by allseeingabstract at 12:54 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


As I said on my own blog, that speech he held at TAPS earlier this year got it exactly right about grief and the anger and hurt you feel when you lose somebody that close to you.

This is the same. It does have some of the rhetoric about 9/11 that in other hands would sound hollow and cheap, but his own lived experience give it the weight it needs.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:54 PM on September 11, 2012


Every year I go back to the first Daily Show that was aired after 9/11. There were no openings for a man in a fetal position under his desk, so Jon Stewart had to go back to work.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:55 PM on September 11, 2012 [21 favorites]


There is a depth to Biden that he keeps hidden much of the time, it's unfortunate that, because of that, he seldom receives the respect he deserves. But, when he speaks of grief and tragedy he bares his soul and lets us look inside and there is a man who has experienced what most dread, and is able to take that event and use it to sooth those who share that experience.

He's a good man.
posted by HuronBob at 12:57 PM on September 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


I know he comes off as goofy, but I've often wondered if that was just completely a front. For a man to suffer that kind of loss at that age, that has to wise you right up about what's actually really important in life. I read somewhere that, after the accident, he was living with his two sons in Georgetown or somewhere, some place that was about two hours by train from the Capitol. Everyone told him that he needed to move closer in, but he knew that his house was the only thing his boys had now that their mother and brother were gone. So he kept the house and travelled four hours each day -- and by that I mean EACH day, he always made sure he saw his sons every single day, no matter what.

Anyway, that's the kind of thing that makes you a man, I think. And every time I see him speak, even when he's goofy, I get the feeling that he's probably a very nice guy, but I would imagine that he might be like LBJ when it comes to tolerating bullshit. As in: he just doesn't truck with it.
posted by nushustu at 12:58 PM on September 11, 2012 [18 favorites]


Bidden is a really underrated guy. He always makes me think of one of those classic, seemingly goofy sitcom dads who is full of good advice and empathy when shit gets real.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:00 PM on September 11, 2012 [16 favorites]


I adore this guy. I realize that all politicians are playing the game at some level, that that's just part of the cost of working in Washington. But with him more than any other politician, I get the feeling that what you see is mostly what you get.
posted by jbickers at 1:02 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


I first paid attention to him on the Daily Show, I think, and I was blown away by his honesty and lack of self-censorship -- it's turned into a running gag, now, but it was so refreshing to see a politician just talking and not worrying about how it would sound or what the correct talking points of the day were.

I really miss Barney Frank already.
posted by theredpen at 1:04 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Sorry, Biden. Writing on a Kindle is like trying to play a banjo strapped to a greased pig.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:04 PM on September 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


I sat in my office on Capitol Hill. I couldn't go home, the media was reporting bomb blasts on Embassy Row, my walking route home (there weren't), that the Metro was shut down (it wasn't), and the roads were completely blocked by cars fleeing downtown. So I sat and watched the Pentagon burn and the tanks rolling across the National Mall, and I waited and watched for the next plane due to hit the Capitol building. It didn't. In stead, the passengers on United 93 saved me.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:05 PM on September 11, 2012 [34 favorites]


I know he comes off as goofy, but I've often wondered if that was just completely a front.

I've thought this same thing for a long time. I think a certain amount of his foot-in-mouth stuff is genuine, but he's got it much more under control than he lets on. Useful, that. And he's never really shown signs that he's dumb or incompetent at the political game.

I finally broke down and listened to some of the DNC coverage, and happened to tune in right when Biden's speech started. I was listening to the radio, so I didn't see him, but the part where he talked about soldiers and their families, he got choked up. He kept stopping and clearing his throat. And suddenly I was crying in my kitchen. Damn you, Joe!
posted by rtha at 1:05 PM on September 11, 2012


Of all the current crop, he definitely has the best "quiet" voice - deep and gentle, able to corral an entire stadium into absolute rapt silence.
posted by Think_Long at 1:13 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wikipedia section on Biden's family, for more details on the loss of his wife and daughter.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:15 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


A few bullet points from his stop over to visit some firefighters:



One firefighter said, “You got my vote.” Biden replied, “Thank you, man. That’s not why I’m here but thank you.”

[Biden] actually served himself a hamburger and put a slice of American cheese on it … Asked what Dr. [Jill] Biden would think of his diet, he said, “She’s going to say, ‘Joe, what the hell are you doing?’ I just ate a peanut butter sandwich between here and there.”

Somehow he then got into a discussion of racing. “I’m a frustrated —” and then he stopped himself and said he shouldn’t say so in front of the [press] pool but went ahead anyway, “dragster.” As the pool was then ushered away, Biden was saying something about the feel of the road.
posted by edgeways at 1:25 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


His language is beautifully deft. These are such difficult feelings he's talking about. He goes straight to the heart and finds that place where hope and sorrow meet, and does it without being cloying or trite. Talk about being in touch with your feelings! And he can be that in touch with his emotional core while still being Vice President. It's pretty amazing.
posted by alms at 1:30 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Biden/Castro 2016. You read it here first.
posted by Renoroc at 1:31 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


A few bullet points from his stop over to visit some firefighters:

He also invited them to the White House for a beer.
posted by gladly at 1:32 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


The problem with Biden is he's human and that shows through every now and then, so the press has no idea how to react and calls it a "gaffe" because the man actually says what he's thinking.

There was a great part in some profile of him I read that said he thought The Onion's "Shirtless Biden Washes Trans-Am In Driveway" was funny, but was upset they got the car wrong. It's a Corvette, dammit!
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 1:34 PM on September 11, 2012 [17 favorites]


That was pure class and compassion. Beautiful and stunning. And sad that it's so shocking when one of our leaders actually behaves well.
posted by smirkette at 1:37 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


No one does it better than Uncle Joe.
posted by deadmessenger at 1:41 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Joe Biden should be Vice President for life. He's an amazing human being. It baffles me that there are segments of the population that don't respect the hell out of him.
posted by sonmi at 1:41 PM on September 11, 2012 [14 favorites]


Joe Biden visits the South High (Minneapolis) Football Team.
posted by Xurando at 1:47 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well I admit I am not particularly a fan of "Bin Laden is dead and Detroit is alive". I understand why it works and I understand why it resonates... hell I even understand why Bin Laden should have been killed, but to revel in killing, even when it may be necessary, is a little too much for me.

I do like Biden quite a bit though.
posted by edgeways at 1:51 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Every year I go back to the first Daily Show that was aired after 9/11.

I just watched that earlier today. Touching.
posted by ericb at 1:54 PM on September 11, 2012


Meanwhile, the previous Vice President had something to say today too:

Dick Cheney: Obama Misses Intelligence Briefings, Takes False Credit For Osama Bin Laden Mission

Dick Cheney Sets New World Record for Being an Asshole
posted by homunculus at 2:21 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dick Cheney Sets New World Record for Being an Asshole
He's held that for a while
posted by fullerine at 2:30 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dick Cheney: Obama Misses Intelligence Briefings

Before Carl Rove it used to be so hard to figure out where a politician had done something bad. Now it's easy — it's whatever they claim their opposition is doing.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:39 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


From gladly's link,
Vice President Biden lived up to his reputation Tuesday as an enthusiastic — and unguarded — messenger for the White House.

After speaking at a memorial in Shanksville, Penn. to the victims of United Airlines Flight 93, Biden stopped by the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Department. According to a pool report, he recognized Deputy Chief Brad Shober, 44, who came to the vice president’s residence last year.

Biden invited Shober and the other firefighters to visit Washington again. Pointing to an aide, he said, “He’s going to call you, no bulls***.” Noticing the pool within earshot, he said, “I didn’t know you guys were here.” Turning back to Shober, he rephrased: “This is no malarkey. You come to the White House. I’ll buy you a beer.”

The trip should be set up for after the election, Biden declared, explaining that “win, lose or draw, I’m still going to be vice president in January.” He added, “I give you my word. I’m not just saying it.”

Biden also looked up at the sky and observed, “Isn’t it eerie? The day’s just like it was.”
I don't care if its all fake, and I don't think it is, but fuck do I like that guy.
posted by Blasdelb at 2:45 PM on September 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


I really like Joe Biden and his "gaffes," which are as has been said above just the man not worried about saying what he means sometimes (although sometimes they involve him making off-the-cuff slavery references to black audiences where they aren't at all appropriate.) I like that sometimes the administration just owns them (like the "Health Care Reform is a BFD" shirt.)

And I love this, a memorial speech that is actually about the ways that those lost will live in our memories.

Vaguely on-topic, here's what one of my best friends wrote on Facebook this morning, that around a half-dozen of us or more reprinted:

"Today marks the 2765th time in recorded history that a day has been designated the 11th day of September. Dates denominated as September 11 have seen at least 24 separate acts of war, terrorism, or aggression. It is likely that the most bloody act of criminality perpetrated on this day was the Nazi liquidation of the ghettos at Minsk and Lida (1943). The Battle of Zenta (1697) saw losses in excess of 30,000 people and the Battle of Vienna (1683) cost 24,000 lives. The Battle of Malplaquet (1709) had casualties in the tens of thousands. The Battle of Saint Cast (1758) left 3,300 dead or wounded. The Battle of Brandywine (1777), left 393 dead on American soil. Another American battle, the Battle of Plattsburg in 1814, had 272 fatalities. The Mountain Meadows Massacre, an anti-Mormon riot*, saw the death of 120 Mormons in Utah in 1857. In 1944 the Royal Air Force killed 11,000 residents of the German city of Darmstadt and displaced 60,000 others. in 1973 60 people were killed in a coup that allowed Augusto Pinochet to rise to power in Chile. In 1988 as many as 50 people were killed in a politically motivated massacre in Haiti targeting a Catholic priest and his followers who opposed the dictator Duvalier. And of course in 2001 approximately 3,000 people were killed in a coordinated terrorist attack on the United States. All told, well over 100,000 people have lost their lives to war and terrorism on September 11th throughout history. Let's remember not only that America was wounded, but that we live in a world that is wounded by war and terror, and commit not simply to punishing those who deserve it but also to healing those who need it."

* he later added "An historical error has been pointed out to me and unfortunately I cannot edit the post to correct it. The Mountain Meadow Massacre was an attack by Mormons on non-Mormon settlers. The death counts was 120, but they were other settlers. It doesn't really affect the overall point, but I did want to clear that up."
posted by Navelgazer at 2:46 PM on September 11, 2012 [12 favorites]


Dick Cheney: Obama Misses Intelligence Briefings, Takes False Credit For Osama Bin Laden Mission

A fitting tribute to those that died on 9/11 would be to declassify all the daily briefings from May through October of 2001. Let the world see what the Republican administration knew and ignored.

Of course, that would be looking backwards, and we don't do that in America.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:48 PM on September 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


I am struck by the difference in the ways that Biden and Romney approach the press.

Romney always acts like they're always trying to catch him doing something criminal or repugnant that he shouldn't be doing.

Biden, on the other hand, as seen in the clips posted throughout this post seems almost Huck Finn esque in his relationship with the press. He's doing something and he knows the press is going to react negatively but he knows in his gut that saying what he means is what's right and good and hones.

" studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: 'All right then, I’ll go to hell'—and tore it up. It was awful thoughts and awful words, but they was said. And I let them stay said; and never thought no more about reforming."

In conclusion, while I am naturally predisposed to be suspicious of politicians there's just something so....well, classically American about Joe Biden that I can't help but like the guy very much.
posted by sendai sleep master at 2:59 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Woof, that ''nice try'' clip was a masters class in tap dancing done poorly.
posted by edgeways at 3:07 PM on September 11, 2012


Joe Biden reminds me of a hero from a Stephen King novel.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:18 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Joe Biden reminds me of a hero from a Stephen King novel.

That's funny, Romney reminds me of a character from an Anne Rice novel!
posted by sendai sleep master at 3:32 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I deal with grief on a day-to-day basis, but I don't think I've ever heard someone sum up the process of recovery so beautifully and succinctly. Thank you for this.
posted by ColdChef at 3:33 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not to thread sit but I feel it is inappropriate to come here and talk solely about Joe Biden. In regard to 9/11 I always find it difficult to find a way to talk about it that doesn't seem to miss the complexity or that succeeding in capturing some of the complexity fails to honor those that fell on that day. My favorite writing from the time is by Roger Ebert in The Chicago Sun Times.
posted by sendai sleep master at 3:42 PM on September 11, 2012


There's that joke I've heard Republicans making: Biden is the intellectual leader of the Democratic party. It's a perplexing joke, though, because that scenario sounds rather good to me.
posted by meese at 4:13 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


That's funny, Romney reminds me of a character from an Anne Rice novel!

Really? Most Anne Rice characters are all about angst and glam, and Romney is sadly bereft of either.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:13 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


watching this goddamn election cycle gives me angst, does that count for anything?

i knew today was 9/11, saw it next to every comment, but didn't do anything until i watched jon stewart linked above. i trust him to leave me teary but hopeful, and i always like that line about the statue of liberty. i'm glad we're a little more normal talking about it-- i think? there weren't any f-ed up "replays" on tv again right?
posted by twist my arm at 4:30 PM on September 11, 2012


I didn't see it myself, twist my arm, but my wife said that MSNBC was replaying coverage from 2001 this afternoon.
posted by wintermind at 4:57 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm so proud of the Vice President of the U.S. today.

And grateful to be able to feel that way without then feeling like a damned fool, without having my left hand laughing at my right.

Thanks for this.
posted by waxbanks at 5:13 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I didn't see it myself, twist my arm, but my wife said that MSNBC was replaying coverage from 2001 this afternoon.

They do that every year, 8AM-Noon I think. Haunting.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:47 PM on September 11, 2012


Paul Ryan would remind them that public memorial services are Communist.
posted by bardic at 6:54 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm trying to think of another time I've ever heard a politician talk like that. I'm sure they're have been many. (Perhaps Teddy speaking of his brothers?) And it's because there's no sense of him being "on." Just a guy talking.

And speaking of loss - I was reminded earlier that today would've been the 11th birthday of Christina Taylor Green, who died from gunshot wounds in Tucson on Jan. 8, 2011. A young daughter (granddaughter/sister)'s brief life bookended by two national tragedies.
posted by NorthernLite at 7:03 PM on September 11, 2012


I didn't see it myself, twist my arm, but my wife said that MSNBC was replaying coverage from 2001 this afternoon.

They do that every year, 8AM-Noon I think. Haunting.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:47 PM on September 11 [+] [!]


i'll be honest, and this is just me, but it seems a little unhealthy for us to still be doing that, though thanks for the info. glad i've missed that all these years.
posted by twist my arm at 9:36 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'd like to buy Joe a beer.
posted by incandissonance at 8:00 AM on September 12, 2012


Is Biden a stalking horse for the administration? This is my theory.
posted by bq at 8:21 AM on September 12, 2012


No, he's the Mr. Myxlplyx of the Obama administration.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:32 AM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


You mean Mxyzptlk, of course.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:25 AM on September 12, 2012


i think that's what vp's always do to some extent-- be the face of the administration when it would be inappropriate or unfeasible for the president to do so. you praise your boss and you hit your opponent below the belt.

regarding biden's speechifying abilities, especially as shown in the military family one linked above, he's still a politician. i'm sure the pain is real, but he is re-directing it for political purposes. and i mean that as no slur against him.

i watched a few of the convention speeches and one of the things that separates the pros from the amateurs is the ability to make it look natural. that includes knowing how to wait for applause, how to recover from misspeaking, sounding like you're kind of having a conversation with the audience instead of standing there reading from a script that's been edited a hundred times, talking about ideas that have been run into the ground by politicians and playwrights, getting into it and being over the top and getting the crowd into it without looking like a crazy person-- in fact, almost looking cool doing it.

here biden makes talking about grief seem natural, like he's not coming at it as a politician. it's not a bad thing. nth-ing i think he's a good guy.

Myxlplyx, Mxyzptlk, potato, po-tah-to.
posted by twist my arm at 10:41 AM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is Biden a stalking horse for the administration? This is my theory.

My father and I have the exact same theory!

Another pet theory of ours: Dan Quayle was insulation from the threat of impeachment for George Sr. and his deep involvement in Iran-Contra.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:22 AM on September 13, 2012


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